This quote just came across my radar recently.
"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." –Rilke
I couldn’t get it out of my mind all day. Seems like Rilke perfectly summed up the past three years of my experience. When I quit my job almost three years ago and took my Pleap (Pink leap of faith) off the proverbial cliff, I was desperately seeking answers. What would I do with my life? Would I miss medicine? How would I pay the bills? Would I regret my decision? Would everybody think I’d gone mad? My monkey mind chattered away with question after anxious, troubled question.
But after my Pleap, I landed in what I call the lavender-scented river, and the more I go with the flow, the less I feel the need to know the answers. Instead, I discovered that I am becoming more and more comfortable with uncertainty. I received so many glaringly (and amusingly) obvious signs from the Universe that my new affirmation is “I’m on the right path, even though I don’t know where I’m going.”
I’ve recently been attracting a bunch of really intuitive geniuses who do readings. I’ve been tempted to pose questions like “Will my book get published? Will Owning Pink pay the bills or will I have to get a day job? Will I be able to stay in Marin or will I have to move? What will Siena be like when she grows up?” What if some psychic out there can read my future. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Then I realized that I don’t want to know. It would take away all the exciting mystery that is my life right now. If someone could predict my future, I would cover my ears. I would rather live the questions. Psychologists call this transitional state I’m in a liminal period, and I’ve discovered that this liminal period is rich with opportunity for me. By not knowing and releasing the need to know, my life becomes less goal-oriented and more open to possibility. Like Rilke says, I choose to live the question, and perhaps, without noticing, I will find myself experiencing the answer. I feel it already. It’s a buzz, an electric charge almost, of being onto something real and authentic in my life. Who would want to skip something so exciting?
Tips for Living The Question
1. Pose your question clearly. Mine is “How can I combine my unique gifts to be in service in this world?”
2. Don’t let fear make your decisions for you. Ask yourself, “What would I do if I took fear out of the equation?”
3. Be present in the moment. Everything else is just planning or remembering.
4. Pay attention to signs from the Universe. When you are living the question and in your flow, the signs show up everywhere just to make you smile.
5. Listen to your intuition. It may come as a gut feeling, a dream, a premonition. These intuitive signals are guides down your own lavender-scented river, letting you live the question and go with the flow.
6. Quit asking why. You don’t need to understand what signs mean, why they’re appearing, or where you’re meant to go.
7. Check in with yourself. How do you feel? Are your fearful? Anxious? Depressed? If so, you’re probably not living the question. When you do, you feel peace.
8. Trust the process. Have faith that living the question is enough. It takes all the pressure off the answers.
9. Surround yourself with others who are living the question. By seeing it in action, you will find inspiration and feel less alone.
10. Surrender to the question. When your aim is true, your heart is pure, and your intention is authentic, the rest will follow.
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